Bay of Plenty residents will be able to enjoy 25 hectares of historical pa sites and parkland early next year in Papamoa.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council bought farmland next to the Papamoa Hills Regional Park, which will be extended.

Council chairman Doug Leeder said the park was closed for a Fulton Hogan logging operation around land leased for the car park. But when it reopened next year, there would be "an even bigger park for people to enjoy", Mr Leeder said.

The purchase settlement was scheduled for February 10.


Mr Leeder said the purchase would protect the cultural and landscape heritage values of the land, and secure open space to meet the needs of an increasingly developed city and region.

"It also secures the park's public road access and gives us more options for developing visitor facilities in the future."

Nga Potiki representative Matire Duncan wrote to the regional council to advocate for the land purchase.

She said that the Papamoa Hills ridge line was an ancestral landmark and an outstanding cultural landscape that had been occupied by many iwi over the centuries, including Waitaha, Ngati Ranginui, Ngai te Rangihouhiri, Ngati Pukenga, Nga Potiki and Ngati He.

"It's one of the most outstanding examples of pa and settlement complexes in the Pacific. Expanding the park to include those pa sites protects a storehouse of information about the early inhabitants of Te Moana a Toi [Bay of Plenty]."

Regional council's land management officer Courtney Bell said the logging operation was progressing well.

"We're still expecting to be able to reopen the park later this summer."